Allen Ginsberg class on steps of revising autobiographical poems. The class includes readings of Hart Crane and Percy Shelley and discussions about Gregory Corso, Basil Bunting, and Ezra Pound. The class also includes discussions and reviews of student work.
September 27, 2005 Subject:
Excellent Class on Rare Topic
This is one of Allen's best classes on practical writing matters. Revision, under the beat sun, lingers in the spontaneity's shadow. Allen looks at this topic rigorously and clearly. VIVA NAROPA!
Narrative Poem Homework: List of epiphanies from childhood, list of vivid moments and fill out a couple of them in the style in Charles Reznikoff's anecdotal poems.
Alternative: Do your whole life 3-10 pages.
12:75: (3) Review it through several people's eyes
30:35: Ode to the West Wind
40:22: (4) review it with an eye to idiomatic speech.
41:00: ***Live edit of a " I found myself again, in great eastern metropolis, wandering..."
51:15: (5) Review it with an eye to condensation of syntax
52:30: (5a) Check out all the articles and prepositions: are they necessary?
1:02:35: Live edits of student work
1:15:00: (6) Review it for abstraction and substitute particular facts for reference.
1:18:30: Kerouac on Generalizations
1:19:45: (7) Date the Composition
1:20:26: (8) Find the most unique or interesting phrase and make a title
1:20:50: (9) Put quotations around slang or "self conscious" "so-to-speak" phrases.
1:23:27: (10) Review it for weak spots you really don't like, but just left because of inertia. Q: "what did Kerouac do?" A: "He exaggerated... he doused them out... adorn them with vowels and mock them"
1:26:00 Interesting thoughts on revision and attention/consciousness
1:29:25: (11) Check out the verbs- active versus inactive
1:31:40: (12) Chop it up into lines according to breath phrasing/ideas or units of thought
Note: Allen refers to "13 steps for revising" but these are the same as the April 1, 1982's "Fourteen Steps for Revising Poetry". 5a is the missing step. (Deliberate Prose, p. 261, 2000) He leaves out step #13: Retype